Writing and the Stabilization of Thought

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Abstract

Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1979, Vol 24(4), 308–309. Reviews the book, The Domestication of the Savage Mind by Jack Goody (1977). The authors central thesis is that it is the differences in technology between speech and writing that may account for the observed differences in modes of thinking. Most of the chapters are wide ranging and anecdotal. This book is rich in provocative ideas and presents many not-so-obvious features of thinking in writing. But it fails in some fundamental ways. Insights abound, but they are rarely backed up by systematic treatment. The underlying message of author's book is that the differences between peoples are to be found in the particular practices in which they engage with the particular structured technologies available to them. This is a message well worth hearing and to which one wishes the author had paid more attention. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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